Mobile and addiction

Posted on February 19, 2014


I saw this article from Mobile Youth *(well a post advertising a report,  but hey they have to spread the word somehow) and I agree with the findings,  however I have a slightly different take, and would like to set some context (at least from my point of view, as someone who’s youth blossomed long ago).

The report’s headlines are that: Youth need to connect; love what their phones do for them; and they use smartphones to create private networks.

Indeed all this is true,  however i think a lot of this is normal behaviour in kids.  children and young adults need and crave attention,  often more challenging or “bad” behaviour is a way of seeking (negative) attention.  So when you consider that back in my day we would play out all day, and when older would often spend the entire evening with friends,  compared to the last 20 odd years where children are not playing in the street, or spending the evening around friends, rather they are in the house, often as not alone in their bedroom.
But kids are kids they want to be with their friends and they want to talk, play and have fun,  and a mobile phone lets you do that.  With loads of messaging apps, many of which are free at the time of use, and  allow you to “be” with your friends even when your not.
Further kids are not good with being unoccupied, and so want to e entertained, and in their phone are many games, TV, the cornucopia of youtube, music, and so much more.  If I’m likely to be bored I’ll turn to my phone and play a game, watch something, anything other than learning to be bored.

So here we are, it’s not addiction, its good old fashioned behaviour just expressed within the confines of a modern city dwelling norm. However, as I’ve written about before,  the interesting thing is that, this constant companion that is a mobile phone,  is changing the very way we learn, we remember and we organise our lives,  and it’s an interesting question to think about how this will change the world once these folks are our lords and masters.